What kind of billing system do you use to bill your OFFLINE clients automatically every month?

30 replies
Hello,

I would like to know that kind of good and cheap billing system is out there, so I can start setting up my clients for monthly invoices?

Or

What's the best way to handle this?

You thoughts are appreciated!

Henry
#automatically #bill #billing #clients #kind #month #offline #system
  • Profile picture of the author adriver38
    Ive heard great things about Freshbooks. Its probably what I'll use. For now its been checks lol.
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  • Profile picture of the author DavidSimpson
    If you have them on a set monthly fee every month, you can set them up on a paypal recurring payment....

    Or you can also send a payment request to them, through Paypal for different amounts each month as well.

    It is very easy to setup either one through Paypal.
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    • Profile picture of the author thesanto
      Originally Posted by DavidSimpson View Post

      If you have them on a set monthly fee every month, you can set them up on a paypal recurring payment....

      Or you can also send a payment request to them, through Paypal for different amounts each month as well.

      It is very easy to setup either one through Paypal.

      I was thinking about that, but I have a bunch of clients that are very low tech, and maybe don't even know how to check their email

      But I guess I can still set-up Paypal for the more computer savvy clients!

      Thanks for your input!

      Henry
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    I prefer to manually invoice them.

    It's a personal touch and I'm able to speak to them about the service.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Callaghan
      I use the Virtual Terminal option within PayPal. That way I don't have to request money through paypal and wait for the client to authorize the payment. I just collect their credit card info at the start of a project and charge them either at the milestones or on a monthly basis depending upon how we structured the deal
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    While I appreciate the customer centric approach of mgtarheels I want my money on time and without any additional work on my part. No invoicing, just a monthly charge to their CC account and the money on it's way to my bank account. PayPal recurring transactions is a nice way to go in that respect. Don't know if Google Checkout and/or Amazon Payments offers this feature.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeO7
    I use Freshbooks. Set them up on recurring billing... shoots out great looking invoices on a monthly basis. They can pay me by PayPal... Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX or send me a check.

    This is a great system that will solve those problems. There is a nice feature set of reports that will project out your recurring so you know what is coming in monthly.

    George
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    • Profile picture of the author thesanto
      Thank you all for the input, it really helps to see what's working for other business owners. I have learned so many tips and things from this forum! I like it

      Henry
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  • Profile picture of the author Bronwyn and Keith
    Hi Henry

    We tend to go for cheque/check or bank transfer for the initial payment.

    For the monthlies we either use PayPal or a direct debit form from the clients bank.

    Makes it easy as sometimes people get busy and "forget" to send the money ontime.

    Once we have received it though we give them a call and talk about what has happened in the past month and let them know that we will pop through the info on email.

    Seems to work for us.

    Regards

    Bronwyn and Keith

    Originally Posted by thesanto View Post

    Hello,

    I would like to know that kind of good and cheap billing system is out there, so I can start setting up my clients for monthly invoices?

    Or

    What's the best way to handle this?

    You thoughts are appreciated!

    Henry
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[2813580].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author thesanto
      Originally Posted by bronke13 View Post

      Hi Henry

      We tend to go for cheque/check or bank transfer for the initial payment.

      For the monthlies we either use PayPal or a direct debit form from the clients bank.

      Makes it easy as sometimes people get busy and "forget" to send the money ontime.

      Once we have received it though we give them a call and talk about what has happened in the past month and let them know that we will pop through the info on email.

      Seems to work for us.

      Regards

      Bronwyn and Keith
      Hello there,

      Thanks for you insight, I will check into it!

      Henry
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  • Profile picture of the author rockyk
    Yea I just checked out Freshbooks and they've really got the most professional setup. It has the most options for payment and sends out awesome looking invoices that you can plug your logo into to give it a personal touch. But...

    The BEST part is you can try it for free! I think you get the first month with up to 3 invoices for free. After that it is not too expensive from what I remember.
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  • Profile picture of the author Devilishboy
    i tend to go for bank transfer for the payment.
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  • Profile picture of the author Canada
    I'll throw in my vote for Freshbooks. Unless they've changed it, it's free for the first 3 (active) clients, regardless of the number of invoices. They can handle recurring billing, or one-off invoices.

    You can also cycle through the different pricing models as needed -- I was doing offline consulting for a while and had 15+ different clients, but when I stopped doing that and dropped to just 2, it was super easy to switch to the Free version. All my data is still there, the clients and invoices are just archived.
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    Guys,

    Freshbooks is awesome. I love that its "set and forget". It even sends out a self-addressed stamped envelope for them to mail payment back. No chance of them sending it to the wrong place then either

    I've found that people are sketchy about paypal. You'd be surprised at the number of people that still don't have an account! Remember, if you are dealing in the offline world and someone doesn't have a website, they aren't necessarily going to be internet savy.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author GeorgeO7
    The OP asked about a cheap billing system for monthly invoices. Freshbooks is just that. I couple that with PayPal... Who cares if they have an account? PayPal accepts credit cards. I also give them the option of mailing a check.

    I have clients with no PayPal account, yet prefer that system as it does allow them to use credit cards. This gives your client the opportunity to use their CC and build up points from their card company.

    You can also buy credits and have Freshbooks send out a snail mail invoice.

    This simplifies so many things for me. The biggest being forgetting to invoice clients.

    Give it a trial and see what you think... As mentioned previously, you get 3 free clients to try it out.

    George
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    George,

    The reason a few of my clients would be hesitant about paypal is because they pair it with all the fraud that goes on out there. Paypal scams is something you do hear about. Yes, they can pay with a credit card and not get an account, but technically paypal is still the processor.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Accounting, and especially accounts receivable, isn't something that I trust with anyone else on the planet.

    I'm old school with my accounting and keep it 100% in-house. I also use Microsoft Dynamics for my accounting system, so my data is kept in SQL Server, and I can write custom reports against it. Now this isn't something that start-ups will use, but Quickbooks or Peachtree will suffice just fine.

    No one, I repeat NO ONE, should ever, ever, ever own or control your accounting data. That just one of those business fundamentals that takes only one screw up for people to understand why.
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    • Profile picture of the author enterpryzman
      Originally Posted by MichaelHiles View Post

      Accounting, and especially accounts receivable, isn't something that I trust with anyone else on the planet.

      I'm old school with my accounting and keep it 100% in-house. I also use Microsoft Dynamics for my accounting system, so my data is kept in SQL Server, and I can write custom reports against it. Now this isn't something that start-ups will use, but Quickbooks or Peachtree will suffice just fine.

      No one, I repeat NO ONE, should ever, ever, ever own or control your accounting data. That just one of those business fundamentals that takes only one screw up for people to understand why.


      I would have to NOT agree that you should always keep things in-house, that is far to general of a statement to be true as every business is unique and requires just as unique accounting support.

      I have some small business holdings that do everything in house in a very simple way. I have some larger ventures that require out-side accounting for several reasons, some of which include unrelated-qualified auditing to limit liability and faster-better billing.

      Quite obviously, in the beginning of a venture such as the OP is talking about, what you are saying would suffice, it is just not a catch all-apply to every business, blanket statement that works in reality.

      Best regards,
      Enterpryzman
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      • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
        Originally Posted by enterpryzman View Post

        I would have to NOT agree that you should always keep things in-house, that is far to general of a statement to be true as every business is unique and requires just as unique accounting support.

        I have some small business holdings that do everything in house in a very simple way. I have some larger ventures that require out-side accounting for several reasons, some of which include unrelated-qualified auditing to limit liability and faster-better billing.

        Quite obviously, in the beginning of a venture such as the OP is talking about, what you are saying would suffice, it is just not a catch all-apply to every business, blanket statement that works in reality.

        Best regards,
        Enterpryzman
        Auditing is very different than bookkeeping. I agree, I outsource my auditing, but there is no way no how no hell that I will turn 100% of my daily financials over to an outside entity.

        Far too many horror stories... crashed systems with no backups... et al... No way. Your financials are your lifeblood.
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        • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
          I took a ton of accounting in college and taxes in law school . Auditing is for when you are presenting your financials to a third party. That's why it costs so much. It'd be rare for an seo person to need an audit. There's something called a compilation or a review I think it should cost less.
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  • Profile picture of the author redlegrich
    Check out Chase Online Invoicing. Quick and easy, the client gets an email invoice and can pay right from there. Search for chase online invoicing (I'd give you a URL, but I need 10 more posts, ha ha). I have a colleague who uses it all the time and loves it.
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  • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
    You can probably bill your clients directly from your own bank using their online invoicing systems. Most of banks have it. You can set automatic billing.


    Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author Rocketguy
    With close to 40 clients it has now become a full time position collecting all the checks and payments. So I am now in the process of setting a up a real merchant account. Hopefully by Monday I will be able to start transferring everyone over to credit/debit card monthly auto billing. It is going to be a huge help for my business.
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    Be carefull with the merchant, many will take your money and say oh youhad a charge back so you must be fake so we closed your acct." Gess what you dont get your money now." some are real just dont mess up cause if you do your done. then its back to checks and money orders for you.

    Me I do hve a merchant and been with them for a few years now and let me tell you I hade to do alot to keep them from time to time cause if you charge some one and they for got what your company name is and what not that looks bad on you.

    anyway hope the best for ya.
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    • I use Fantasos (formerly JV Manager) in my business to control all order and digital downloads. This interfaces with PayPal to create a subscription for recurring billing.

      So far, nobody has had a problem placing their order. All my contact is virtual, so I never have to leave my office and the business is not impacted with time-sucking meetings.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Pitts
    Hi Guys,

    I use freshbooks for all my billing and bookkeeping. I put the link below. The first 3 clients are free. They can pay online or send you a check. You can also mail, email, and fax invoices automatically each month. It is really good and very professional looking.

    https://georgepitts.freshbooks.com/refer/www
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    Send them the bill in the mail. Set up your billing around the beginning or end of each month. Pay pal is the better though because you can save on paper by becoming more green.
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